With the 2021 football season nearing into view, no position group could have more of an impact on Matt Wells’ critical third season than the Quarterbacks. There have been a multitude of changes in not only personnel, but coaching staff as well. This group will look much different than the first two seasons under Wells’ leadership. Sonny Cumbie will be leading the group at Offensive Coordinator, returning to his alma mater after a seven-year stint with TCU. Cumbie’s accolades and successes span from the nation’s most improved offense his first year in Fort Worth to coaching TCU great Trevone Boykin to All-American status twice. This while helping lead the team to the second best record in the conference during his seven seasons at 38-25.
Since the end of the 2020 season, there has been much shuffling of personnel. This includes the departure of Alan Bowman and the addition of three new signal callers in Behren Morton, Tyler Shough, and Parker McNeil. Bowman appeared in 19 games over three seasons for the Red Raiders, compiling 5,260 yards and 33 touchdowns. Offsetting this loss in experience, Tech brought in Tyler Shough from Oregon. Shough played in seven games for the Ducks last year, throwing for 1,559 yards. They also brought in Parker McNeil from Troy. Although he did not see much action last season, was the NJCAA player of the year in 2019 at Navarro College. Also joining the QB room is highly touted four-star prospect Behren Morton, the highest-rated quarterback to ever sign with the Red Raiders.
These new faces will join Henry Colombi, Donovan Smith, and Maverick McIvor to compete for the starting job. Colombi saw action in six games last season, throwing for just over 1,000 yards. He also led the team to its first Big 12 win of the year against West Virginia. Donovan Smith missed all of last season with an injury to his throwing shoulder that required surgery in October. McIvor, a three-star prospect out of San Angelo, has been with the team since 2019. He suffered an injury in his first year and served as a backup for all of 2020.
With Matt Wells entering his third season on the proverbial hot-seat, the quarterback competition should be both interesting and exciting alike. Early 2022 NFL mock drafts suggesting that Tyler Shough could be selected in the first few rounds, He appears to be the favorite to begin the year at the helm. In this scenario, Morton would have an entire year to get acquainted with a Division One program. Not only from a competition standpoint, but to also learn the system Cumbie implements. This should set him up to be the successor in 2022 should all go according to plan. It wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up redshirting considering the depth and experience on the roster for this season.
Colombi serves as a reliable backup that is familiar with Wells and his system dating back to their time together at Utah State. He could fill in should an emergency situation arise. McIvor, Smith, and McNeil will likely be competing for a backup role on the roster this season. McIvor has the best shot at landing game reps due to his time in the program and dressing for games in 2020 already. Regardless of how the cards fall, Texas Tech is in a favorable spot at the QB position with enough skill, experience, and depth to lead the team in the right direction this fall.